Feature Story from 2011
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi KIDS COUNT is seeking nominations for the annual Success Story campaign, which highlights the work of organizations that improve the lives of children and families across the state.
Housed at Mississippi State University, Mississippi KIDS COUNT works to improve the lives of the state’s families by providing information to policymakers, educators, program administrators, parents, advocates and the general public. KIDS COUNT recognizes organizations that are providing a helping hand to Mississippi’s children.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Flooding from the Mississippi and other rivers is disrupting even the wildlife as it brings activities to nearly a standstill in many areas of the Delta.
The river flooding is already displacing wildlife, moving them to higher and drier areas, where they sometimes cause problems as they interact with humans. Deer, raccoons, opossums, snakes and ants are all often found in unexpected places during times of flooding.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The overflowing Mississippi River is threatening the Delta’s trees, but with the proper care and maintenance, many can and will recover.
The Delta’s forests are exclusively bottomland hardwood, and the trees range from tolerant to very intolerant to flooding. For example, baldcypresses generally fare better than white oaks in flooding situations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Landowners with ponds have a checklist of spring maintenance chores that will result in quality fishing, swimming or boating experiences, and a newly updated Mississippi State University publication can help.
Spring is a great time to get a jump on aquatic vegetation control, said Tom Holman, fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – NASA is partnering with the Mississippi State University Extension Service to bring science, technology, engineering and math content to youth through the Summer of Innovation program.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Financial incentives for property owners to plant and manage their lands for timber production have been around since the 1930s, but many private landowners in Mississippi do not know about them.
These incentives, called cost-share programs, were developed to offset the initial costs for site preparation, tree planting and forest stand improvement.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Practical strategies for sustainable living can help Mississippians save money, increase independence and benefit the environment.
Mississippi State University landscape architecture professor Pete Melby practices what he teaches his students: reduce energy consumption through thoughtful design, food gardening and rainwater collection.
“After the widespread power outages this spring, people have a new interest in ‘living off the grid’ or reducing their energy consumption,” Melby said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University recently merged two units to further strengthen efficiency and research efforts.
The Mississippi Variety Testing and Mississippi Foundation Seed Stocks, both research support units in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, have been merged. The two units have worked together for more than a decade.
Brad Burgess, currently the variety testing unit’s director of research support, will oversee the newly created Mississippi Variety Testing and Foundation Seed.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – State experts are sending out two surveys to seafood processors and restaurant owners to help analyze the needs and impact of Mississippi’s seafood industry.
Mississippi State University and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission are conducting the Economic Survey of Gulf Seafood Processors and Dealers. All the seafood processors and dealers in the state will be asked to complete surveys in an effort to learn more about key components of the Gulf seafood industry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pets are notorious for chewing things, so caregivers need to be aware of some of the common toxins that do not come with warning signs.
Dr. Patty Lathan is an assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Unfortunately, she may be the first person to tell pet owners about the toxic properties of common household products, plants and even foods.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers and inventors often succeed with efforts others consider impossible, but one “crazy” idea in the 1930s and 1940s changed the face of agriculture and contributed to the formation of Mississippi’s first Fortune 500 company.
In April, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers unveiled a historic landmark plaque in Mississippi State University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building. An identical plaque was unveiled May 27 at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Much of the flooded Delta was already planted for the 2011 season, and when it finally dries out, landowners will face challenges preparing it for planting.
Landowners of flooded acreage must manage a variety of issues, including oxygen-depleted soils, nutrient loss, soil compaction, debris removal and possible chemical contamination. Some acres may not be ready for planting again until next year.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – As floodwaters in the Delta recede, Mississippi State University experts are helping producers make wise decisions about cropland management.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi is part of a nationwide surge in beekeeping, as evidenced by increased attendance at several informative workshops held across the state this spring.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Summertime means outdoor meals with friends and family, and Mississippi State University food safety experts want everyone to use simple strategies to reduce the chances of foodborne illness.
Natasha Haynes, nutrition and food safety area agent with the MSU Extension Service in Lincoln County, recommends using these four steps: clean, separate, cook and chill. The steps are part of the Be Food Safe campaign developed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – State officials are asking for the public’s help in stopping the spread of cogongrass, one of the world’s worst weeds, which has invaded 62 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.
The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce-Bureau of Plant Industry is asking anyone who spots this invasive grass to report the sighting by calling (662) 325-3390. The problem is severe enough that a Mississippi Forestry Commission assistance program is available in 19 counties to help landowners get rid of the weed.
PICAYUNE – Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune will host a workshop to help homeowners learn how to save money and the environment.
Stephanie Pendleton, MSU Extension Service director in Jackson County, will conduct a rain barrel workshop at the arboretum in Picayune on July 16 from 10 to 11 a.m. She will educate participants about the ways rain barrels can effectively capture water and help cut water costs. Participants will also make a rain barrel to take home for their own use.
PICAYUNE – A local manufacturer of fuel and water storage tanks is testing a rainwater irrigation system at Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum.
Senior Curator Patricia Drackett said the irrigation system offers environmental and financial benefits to this unique facility located in Picayune.
“We are interested in offering water conservation solutions to the local community,” she said. “The system has a solar controller and holds about 3,000 gallons of run-off from the roof of a portable building near the greenhouse.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s 2 million white-tailed deer have an estimated $1 billion economic impact on the state, so knowing how to manage this wildlife resource is a common goal among landowners and hunters.
Two Mississippi State University short courses in July will teach those wanting to manage white-tailed deer populations on their land. There will be a July 23 session in Senatobia and a July 30 session at MSU. They are sponsored by the MSU Extension Service, MSU College of Forest Resources and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Jonathan Pote has been named head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University.
Pote has served as interim head of the department since July 2010. He joined MSU in 1985 and has held a variety of administrative positions, including associate vice president for research and economic development and associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
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